Coconut oil is a great source of medium chain saturated fats. I tried to make it a mainstay of my diet, but it gave me terrible gastritis/GERD. Anybody else?
More details that may be relevant: I ate a LOT of coconut oil (3-5 tablespoons/day maybe) over a period of a few months before I ran into trouble. My discomfort started with viciously caustic burps/reflux, but progressed to a chronic intense gastritis/ulcer pain. It took a few weeks before I figured out it was the coconut oil that was causing the pain (as so many things in my diet/regimen have changed recently), but now I am nearly 100% confident it was the coconut oil. I take PPIs as I have serious damage from years of pre-paleo GERD. However, even profound acid suppression (80 mg nexium + zantac) did not help with the irritation that coconut oil caused. I have no symptoms without coconut oil. I also do not have any tree nut allergies, or any other food allergies, that I am aware of.
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I had a problem with coconut irritating my stomach for some time when I started paleo. I left it out for a few months and then added it back in without problems. Science is now showing GERD is an immune system problem. Probably like other such problems it's an issue of your immune system being like OMGWIEUHYWKEUWHQIUWEHWIQWE and attacking things that aren't causing the problem in the first place.
PPIs are seriously bad news and now that they know that GERD isn't an issue of tissue damage like they used to think, you should consider not taking them. They alter the digestive immune system in ways that are probably no good- affecting mineral absorption and predisposing you to infections are just two known problems. The burps, which I also had, are probably caused by some bacteria that have no business in your stomach, but have taken up residence thanks to PPIs lowering the acidity. Us humans evolved stomach acidity for a very good reason!
It took my several long painful months to get off them, with the aid of taking kombucha or apple cider vinegar after every meal. It was worth it! During the GERD recovery period I kept it simple though and eliminated all borderline foods: tubers, nightshades, caffeine, etc. I now have NO food intolerances and happily down tabasco sauce and other borderline foods I wouldn't have touched with a five foot stick before.
ALso, did you eat the coconut with other things? One thing that I found can help GERD is to eat fats separately from your other foods. Fats slow down digestion and if accompanied by other foods that bacteria love, that means some not so fun fermentation in your tummy.
So far no GERD for me since going Paleo. I use to get it in association with alcohol consumption, sugars and carbs -- particularly whole grains back before paleo.
I get about a tablespoon minimum of coconut oil a day without GERD symptoms. I will keep on the look out tho.
Could it be your brand? There are many ways it can be processed I believe...
Lecithin to Help Coconut Oil Gastritis
I had the same problem with gastritis from coconut oil. At first I thought perhaps I burned my stomach from too hot food but this wasn't it because my throat wasn't burned. I take the oil 1 tablespoon 3x/day q8 hours along with three other supplements as part of the BALI proocol for L-form bacterial infections to boost my immune system because I appear to have a chronic bartonella spp. infection in L-form which suppresses the immune system and is very hard to shake.
Today I decided to test an idea. Yesterday I purchased lecithin granules so I ate half of the oil on brussel sprouts, started to get the gastritis, then I mixed 1 teaspoon of granulated lecithin (no soybean oil in it) in about 5 oz of water and drank it. Within 5 minutes my gastritis was better. I finished the oil with no problems.
Apparently the lecithin emulsifies the fat very quickly so that the lining of the stomach doesn't get irritated and cause gastritis. This is similar to enteric coating of drugs so it allows the oil to get absorbed in the intestine and get to the target white blood cells without irritating the stomach.
I had similar symptoms one morning when I made a milkshake using an entire can of coconut milk (70 grams of fat by the label). I figured it was just because of eating too much fat all at once, but maybe it had something to do with the fact that it was from coconut. Either way, it's not an experiment I want to replicate.
I experienced this as well, when I got to around 4 Tablespoons a day. I was also consuming about 5 egg yolks per day and overall 80% calories as fat. I cut the fat % back to 70 and it went away.
For the people who've had problems with it, how long did it take for the irritation that coconut caused to heal? Was it immediately after stopping it, or did it take a few weeks/months to heal the irritation. I think coconut oil may have caused me slight irritation... I think that slight irritation was made worse when I started supplementing with Papaya (which contains protease and can irritate the stomach also).
So I was just diagnosed with silent reflux and told to limit high fat foods. I've been pretty strict Paleo for more than 2 years and never had any problems with reflux before (am 59 yr male). I do use coconut oil and milk regularly. Figure I would stop coconut milk for a bit, but was unsure if coconut oil is considered a high fat food. I am confused as most people on here suggest Paleo diet cures their reflux. For me it seems to have caused it-- or at least something related has as my diet hasn't changed much these past 2 years. Biggest change was eating more carbs--sweet potatoes and rice mainly.
So thought I would chime in here as no one responded to my post on silent reflux.
I have trouble with coconut flour and cream (gerd, gastro issues, as you do). But I can tolerate coconut oil and milk. Others, can tolerate all of these, and others can't tolerate any of these. I haven't tried coconut sugar and coconut aminos.
I have been taking PPI's for about 1-1/2 years after severe sore throat. Nexium worked for some time, then I changed to Losac which seems better for me. Sometimes my stool appears yellow in colour, whih can be a cause for concern. Two weeks ago I started taking d-limonene and wow...major relief of acid reflux and my stool returned to a healthy colour. Has anyone else used d-limonene for gerd issues ?